McDonald’s to get rid of plastic toys in Happy Meals by 2025

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Remember how McDonald’s was pretty much responsible for popularizing the use of single-use plastic in fast food restaurants? Well, don’t worry little chickens, because Daddy McD, guilty of causing more damage to the environment than the mega-company could reverse before sinking into the ocean or melting – maybe be both! dead, plans to remove 90% of the virgin fossil fuel-based plastic from its iconic Happy Meal toys – by 2025!

The very popular Happy Meal, a combination meal for children accompanied by a small plastic toy, was introduced in 1979 and, according to at Restaurant Business Online, the company now sells 1 billion each year. In a statement, the company said this shift from plastics to more renewable materials is cost neutral, which means it’s not a money-saving strategy, but a money-saving strategy. a response to increased customer demand for climate awareness.

You can expect future Happy Meals to feature games made from paper or other materials that are more durable than plastic. Think of puzzles and small cardboard figurines. The fast food giant says this shift from single-use plastic is equivalent to 650,000 people stopping plastic use altogether each year. Before applauding McDonald’s, it should be noted that the company is largely responsible for the huge demand for single-use plastic it is currently addressing.

One of the big draws of McDonald’s since the chain opened its first location in the mid-1940s and spread across the world, has been how easy it is to get hold of the whole experience. There are hardly any waiters and “doing the dishes” after a burger and fries simply means throwing all the wrappers in the trash. It’s not like the Superchain is the only company that has taken this approach, but it was largely responsible for modeling and popularizing this type of dining experience in the United States and the United States. foreigner. Sadly, all of this garbage ended up, well, in a lot of places it shouldn’t.

Across the UK coast, new research suggests McDonald’s is one of 12 companies responsible for two-thirds of plastic pollution. The company has taken positive steps other than the Happy Meal toy swap: McDonald’s promised in 2018 that by 2025, all of its packaging materials will be recycled or otherwise sustainable. And while the company is committed to significantly reducing its carbon emissions by 2030, there is serious questions about how the company will do it, while in some cases source from companies that do not declare their greenhouse gas emissions and have not set public targets to reduce their negative impact on the planet.

If we are to have a chance to save our planet before we experience an even worse climate catastrophe than the one we are already facing, companies are going to have to show the way. While consumers have been strategically convinced that we are individually responsible for the destruction of the planet and that our daily actions can significantly reverse or slow the crisis, it is the big companies who are to blame for the vast majority of global emissions. In the UK, Ireland and France, McDonald’s has already reduced the use of plastic in its toys by 30% since 2018, and these changes will continue to roll out internationally as the chain of The company’s supply is catching up. the pandemic. The types of commitments McDonald’s is making are encouraging, but they all seem rather distant given the immediacy and urgency of conditions in almost every corner of the world right now: endless floods and storms; terrible droughts and forest fires; bizarre, unpredictable and countless natural disasters make farming almost impossible for many small producers.

Throughout the history of McDonald’s, the company has rarely – if ever – been at the forefront of advocacy for more climate-friendly practices. The fast food titan was responsive, responding to the global warming crisis only when public opinion demonstrated that, say, styrofoam was no longer a popular packaging material for a burger. As always, consumers have a responsibility to voice their dissatisfaction with companies that underpay workers, destroy the planet and act otherwise until they have no choice but to react. Whether the company’s reasons for moving towards a more sustainable model are altruistic or not, growing demand is forcing McDonald’s to do so, one piece of cardboard puzzle at a time.


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